On Meditation

Meditation. Is your reaction to that word, “Oh! I can’t meditate!”? Does your mind autoload all the reasons why you feel meditation is difficult? None of them are true! If we feel meditation is hard we might have the wrong idea about what meditation is. Here are some concepts we need to forget before we meditate: 1.If we live in the USA we are probably captured by the huge emphasis on achievement and productivity. Forget it! As my upaguru, Swami Swananda, told me, you don’t achieve anything by meditating. You are already That. Brahman is never the product of any cause. 2.Drop the notion of success/failure. You can’t fail, or, for that matter, succeed. 3.Drop any notions of right/wrong. Don’t ask yourself, “Am I doing it right?” 4. Drop any idea of past/future, i.e. thinking, “Some future date I will be enlightened.” Time is illusory. All there is when you sit is now. If you sit for 1 hour or 5 minutes, there’s only now. 5. Drop comparing and competing. If you compare yourself to Sri Ramakrishna, for instance, you might become mightily discouraged. You aren’t trying to win a meditation competition with anyone else…or yourself! Some days we may be able to easily focus the mind. We might have what we call a ‘good meditation’. Go forward! The next day might be a bust because we are trying to get back the focus of the day before. There are many more tips and hints. You might have your own. The Zen Buddhist tradition famously uses the phrase, “Just sit.” That’s it.

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